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One of the most influential Europeans in the past two millennia has to be Benedict of Nursia.

History Professor Michael Haykin
Figure Image
photo: iStock

He was born in Italy around 480 when the Ostrogoths ruled the peninsula, and died in 547 at the monastery he founded at Monte Cassino. He established an order of monks and gave them a rule of life that shaped the world of medieval monasticism till the rise of the Franciscans and the Dominicans in the 13th century.